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Chapter Leaders at AirVenture—12 Reasons to Be Here!

June 2016 - When I ask chapter leaders, “Are you coming up to Oshkosh in July?” I hear many varied answers from “not this year, maybe next year” to “I went there once in 1999.” 

Oshkosh is a weeklong event that happens only once a year. Nothing else in the world I have experienced even remotely compares to Oshkosh’s grandness. It is an all-things-aviation convention and a conference. It’s both entertaining and educational. It’s a colossal family reunion. And yes, there are bands playing. And don’t forget the 69+ air show acts.

Yet there is so much more to Oshkosh, words defy description. It is also our pancake breakfast fundraiser on steroids and helps to fund all the other programs EAA offers the other 51 weeks of the year. 

My first visit many years ago was simply an excuse to get away from work and fly 1,500 miles, just to look at some cool airplanes. I had no idea I would meet my family here. 

I did not make Oshkosh every year, but I wanted to and I tried. I did succeed more often than not and always had a world-class experience. The 5,500 volunteers make that so. Every year my experience was so wonderfully unique that the only way I knew I was still at the same event was because the runways were in the same place. 

I never regretted, even for one minute, the money or time I spent. For every dollar invested, I was rewarded hundreds of times over, meeting accomplished and passionate folks from around the world, seeing airplanes fly that I never knew existed, hearing thunderous sounds that don’t exist in my 51-week world, and learning so much at the educational forums that I filled up notepad after notepad.

I understand—the lawn needs mowing, the car needs an oil change, and the gutters need cleaning. Set it all aside, grab a chapter member, a young person new to aviation, throw some camping gear together, and come on up. You won’t be disappointed; I guarantee it.

Here are 12 additional reasons to come as a chapter leader:

  1. Represent your chapter!
  2. Discount group chapter camping—fly your chapter colors.
  3. See if your chapter’s patch is on the EAA Museum wall map.
  4. Participate in many chapter-oriented forums during the week.
  5. Meet and greet with EAA chapter staff to discuss problems and find solutions.
  6. Attend the Tuesday evening Chapter President’s Reception at the Ford Pavilion.
  7. Attend the Chapter Major Achievement Awards Breakfast in the Museum Founders Wing on Saturday.
  8. Meet and greet with your new Chapter Advisory Board and discuss the future of chapters.
  9. Get a once-in-a-lifetime chapter group photo opportunity with the Mars Martin and other cool airplanes for your chapter newsletter.
  10. Take delivery of your EAA chapter gear order here at Oshkosh during the convention.
  11. Compete for the coveted “Best Chapter at Oshkosh” award. Points are awarded by a panel of judges to the chapter that (a) has the most members present, and (b) flew the most airplanes in, and (c) traveled the farthest, and (d) extra points can be earned for the chapter that has the best decorated campsite.
  12. Volunteer as a chapter and help us put on the best Oshkosh ever. Members from 52 chapters volunteer at KidVenture alone.

Hope to see you! Stop by and say hello.

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